KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Yorbit, a web application created by a team of Kansas City digital professionals, has won a global award in the 2014 NASA International Space Apps Challenge.
On Thursday, NASA announced the winners of the five global awards and Yorbit was honored in the Most Inspiring category.
Yorbit is a way to search, share, and personalize stunning photographs captured by NASA satellites orbiting high above Earth. Searching by date and location, you can choose images from unique maps overlaid with the familiar Google Maps interactions. Then, you can personalize and connect the image to a special moment in someone's life and share through social media or email.
The Space Apps Challenge focuses on teams building and releasing solutions for a variety of challenges related to space exploration, education and NASA missions. This year, there were more than 8,000 participants at 95 sites around the world. NASA recognized the best solutions submitted in five categories.
The Kansas City site, hosted by Ingenology, was one of four sites worldwide to have its two two project entries advance to the finalist stage. The NERO Project was one of five global finalists in the Galactic Impact category.
"This award recognizes what we already know - we have fantastic, world-class digital design and technical talent right here in Kansas City," said Michael Wilson, president of Ingenology. "We're excited to see that talented honored and tell the story of Yorbit on a global scale."
Yorbit was developed for the Earth As Art Challenge, which was based on a book of stunning satellite images of Earth. One of the book's creators was Lawrence Friedl, the director of NASA's applied sciences program who was in Kansas City to kickoff the event.
"We needed to make a story out of it," said Ben Suh, a creative director on the Yorbit team. "You want to have somebody care. You want to bring a reason and emotional value and we did that by allowing someone to personalize and customize each map with a simple design editor."
This is the second year in a row the Kansas City site has won one of the five global awards in the Space Apps Challenge. In 2013, Kansas City won Best Use of Data for Sol, the world's first interplanetary weather app.
"Winning one of just five global awards for the second straight year is a fantastic accomplishment for Kansas City," said Wilson. "It's validation that our approach rooted in the power of creative, collaborative change works on both the local and global scale."
The Kansas City team included programmers, designers, project managers and content developers from Ingenology, Salva O'Renick, Datasense, EyeVerify, Waddell & Reed, Sporting Innovations, and more.
The Space Apps Challenge was part of the Open Government Initiative, signed by President Obama, which ushered in a new era of open and accountable government meant to bridge the gap between the American people and their government. By participating in events like the NASA Space Apps Challenge, citizens can have a direct impact on everyday products and services that are discovered through NASA's scientific data and research.
Ingenology is a digital marketing agency and product accelerator that develops insightful, intelligent interactions to help organizations change the way they engage customers to drive business.